Driverless hover-taxis to take off in Singapore
Test flights of a driverless hover-taxi will take place in Singapore next year, a German aviation firm said, the latest innovation to offer an escape from Asia’s monster traffic jams.
Millions of commuters in the region’s cities have to contend with chronic gridlock every day, sparking a race to develop new ways to avoid the snarl-ups.
While the developed city-state of Singapore does not suffer major congestion, it is seen as a perfect test-bed for new technologies due to its compact size and openness to innovation.
German firm Volocopter said Tuesday it will conduct the test flights in Singapore in the second half of next year with the support of the government.
Resembling a helicopter, Volocopter’s electric air taxis take off and land vertically. They are based on drone technology and can fly two people for around 30 kilometers (19 miles), the firm said in a statement.
The Singapore tests follow a public demonstration in Dubai last year.
“The Volocopter is designed specifically for inner city missions,” Volocopter said in a statement, adding it can withstand minor turbulence around skyscrapers, allowing for smooth rides.